God bless Texas and God bless the free market.
The most common complaint I hear and see from buyers is that they were the ones that ultimately found their home, and their agent just helped with the contract, and that is really not that surprising. We live in an information age--with more data at our fingertips than has every existed throughout humanity--so why does it still make sense for someone who literally won't have to live with your decision to shovel listing after listing in front of you until you give the nod of approval? What I'm proposing is to cut as much of the middle man out of the process as possible.
I absolutely believe that buyers need someone in their court who will look after their best interests, and can help them to remain unemotional during negotiations, inspections, closings, etc. But what I don't believe, and can no longer stand behind, is that this entire process is worth 6%, or even 3% for the buyer's agent. As of Q1 2018, the median home price in the US is $328,000 (implying a median commission of almost $20,000 per transaction). The median income in the US is $59,030, meaning there is a clear disconnect between what agents are being paid to help a house transact, and what normal people earn. In short, agents are overpaid for the amount of work they do.
And then there is my model. Get rid of unessesary work and bloated fees.
What I'm offering with my flat fee services is not revolutionary. I'm not the first in Texas to offer this service, and hopefully I won't be the last. But I do believe that my model is set up to help all parties win. Most flat fee services I've seen charge between $99 and $499 just to list your home on the MLS, and then you never hear from them again. This model, in my opinion, actually does more to hurt the reputation of sellers seeking fair brokerage compensation than the traditional commission model.
But at the same time, 6% (or roughly $20,000, which is about 40% of the average American's annual salary), is just too much to charge any longer. God bless the free market.
I do not aim to be a fly by night agent, who posts your property to the MLS and disconnects. Nor do I am to make you believe I've earned 6% when in fact, I've done a really good job of just marketing myself.
I have a Master's degree in Land, Economics, and Real Estate from a top 5 Real Estate Program in the world. As I typed this, I kept needing to go back and revise my wording because, well, frankly, this whole process as it exists today, is too complicated. And there is no reason for it, other than to protect a class of jobs for a subset of people who have gotten away with it for too long.
My grandfather worked for NASA from roughly 1962 until he retired, serving in mission control with the Mercury, Apollo, Gemini, and early space shuttle missions. He passed about 3 years ago. I used to love hearing his stories from WW2 and his time with NASA, and would marvel at what they accomplished.
It's time we stopped treating this whole process like rocket science, and start treating it like real estate.